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Postpartum Medicaid extension for Texans goes into effect in March

A pregnant person looks at an image on an ultrasound of a developing fetus.
Jasper Jacobs
AFP via Getty Images
Texans on Medicaid will now have 12 months of postpartum coverage, up from 2 months prior.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Wednesday approved Texas’ plan to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage from two months to 12 months.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission submitted the plan to CMS in October. The extended coverage goes into effect March 1.

New parents who lost their Medicaid before then but are still within a year of giving birth can re-enroll.

Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 12 into law last year. The bill, authored by Rep. Toni Rose, is designed to help new parents take care of health issues before they become a crisis.

“I feel like this is one of my most fulfilling pieces of legislation, because it saves lives,” Rose told KERA in June.

Chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure, along with bleeding and mental health issues, account for many of the pregnancy-related deaths in Texas, according to a report from the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee.

Advocates, birth workers and researchers have said this extended coverage will lower the rates of maternal mortality and morbidity in the state.

In 2022almost half of all births in Texas were financed by Medicaid.

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Elena Rivera is the health reporter at KERA. Before moving to Dallas, Elena covered health in Southern Colorado for KRCC and Colorado Public Radio. Her stories covered pandemic mental health support, rural community health access issues and vaccine equity across the region.